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Svalbard - a special regime

Increased activity by the oil and gas industry in the far north is on the cards. The Svalbard islands on the edge of the Arctic Ocean already have their own regulations for explorationand exploration drilling.

These rules aim to protect people, the environment and material assets by specifying special provisions on operations, technical aspects and emergency preparedness in the archipelago.

The governor of Svalbard coordinates application of the regulations, while the PSA is responsible for supervising compliance.

One consequence is that information, reports and applications for possible consents are submitted to the governor, who then ensures any necessary coordination with other agencies.

Dating from March 1988, the regulations governing petroleum activities in Svalbard embrace all islands with associated territorial waters between 10°E and 35°E, and 74°N and 81°N.

Basically, companies from or legally incorporated in any of the states which have ratifi ed the Svalbard Treaty are entitled to pursue petroleum operations within this area.